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you know,

some of whats gotten better about game graphics in recent years is not just adding more polygons or using more compute heavy shaders but actually better understanding and modelling of how light works

i wonder if you could go back and make a game for like the ps1/ps2 or n64/gamecube that used modern shading techniques and like blow everything from their era out of the water

@chr It's amazing how much of a difference a good lighting engine makes

Like I played the first FEAR game a few years back; that game came out when I was in high school but it still looked REALLY good because they had a lighting engine that actually modeled light in real time

@chr have you ever played (or, y'know. looked at) Grow Home?

@chr yeah! Pretty fun, too. I bring it up because A. objects in that game have, like, forty polygons, max. And also *all* the lighting is dynamic, so you get objects casting shadows on each other from miles away and all kinds of other pretty shit. Anyway

Yeah I agree, graphics progression (especially these days) is way more about simulation complexity than pure polycount

@chr yeah like even games where all the models are just untextured huge cubes look pretty with modern lighting and rendering

@chr well, to be fair there is actual effort put into Fantabulous Game

but Fantastic Game is some real hot trash and it still looks quite nice

@chr Look at what people are making for the C64 these days!

@chr The best you could do with the existing horsepower was per-vertex lighting on specific polygons, usually character models, like in this example:
youtu.be/eFxH6-g8FGQ?t=183

Or this:
youtu.be/1KH0mDgZGow?t=2599
(Note the lack of shadows too. The game is just checking what vertices are close to the player object and increasing the gamma on those textures.)

Dynamic lighting for an entire scene? They just didn't have the ability to run those kind of calculations.

@Aradia im thinking more like rimlighting / brdf surfacr modelling. surely there'd be ways to fake it if you pushed the early gpus hard enough with custom bytecode.

@chr Probably on a single model like this:
youtube.com/watch?v=YCtZIlolG6
But doubtful if you wanted to run a whole scene?

@chr N64 would be hard as I think a lot of it was done in hardware. Gamecube more likely?

@chr PS1 has that hardware defect that makes everything wobbly as well as some limitations due to how old everything is, N64 has so little effective texture and VRAM you can't really do much with it. (And that's after you account for MIPS)

PS2 and Gamecube are the first generation where people were able to start doing shader-esque code, so I think those would be the best target for shader demoscene-esque trickery, since they don't have limitations that characteristically 'color' everything to have the same problems. For a good example of this on the Gamecube, just look at the crazy effects in the Fountain of Dreams in SSBM or Star Fox Adventure's water and flame effects.

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